Ricky Ponting is a former Australian cricket captain who is widely regarded as one of the game’s greatest batsmen. He has led Australia to two World Cup wins and is their all-time leading run scorer in one-day internationals and Tests. He is also the first player in Test history to win over 100 matches.
Punter, as he is known by his teammates, was born in Tasmania on December 19, 1974. When he was 17 years old, he made his First Class debut for Tasmania.
Rod Marsh, Australia’s former wicketkeeper, had seen him play there and thought he was the “best of the youth.” Ponting was called up to the national team after three years of playing there.
Ponting made his international debut against South Africa in an ODI match in 1995, and he also made his Test debut that year. Steve Waugh, Shane Warne, Brett Lee, and Adam Gilchrist, to name a few, were among the giants he shared the field with.
Since his debut, he has managed to collect runs for Australia. His 140* in the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup final is most famous, when the mighty Australians blasted India out of the tournament by scoring a massive total of 359.
He was in top form, having scored 5115 runs at an average of 52.73 in 71 Test matches and 4800 runs at an average of 41.37 in 131 One-Day Internationals. At that time, he had amassed a record of 26 international hundreds.
In 2002, he took over as Australia’s captain after Steve Waugh was relieved of his duties. His aggressive captaincy won him many admirers, but he was also chastised for his rough play.
For many years, Ponting’s squad was the greatest in the world, and he was regarded as the best captain of his generation. In World Cups, Australia had the longest winning streak of any nation, with 34 victories. They had a 16-match winning streak in Tests. Except for India, his team outperformed any other country in their home country.
Ponting’s captaincy record is impressive, with Australia winning 165 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and 48 Tests (with a win percentage of 62.33).
Ponting, arguably the greatest player of the pull shot, executed almost every textbook shot flawlessly. He is best known for bowling two centuries in his 100th Test match, a world record.
Ricky Ponting is the first Australian to reach the milestones of 12000 Test runs and 10,000 One-Day International runs. In both Tests and ODIs, he ranks third in most centuries, but second when the two formats are combined.
Ponting has the most ODIs under his belt as captain. With 165 and 213 victories in ODIs and all formats combined, he still holds the record for most wins as captain.
Ponting is Australia’s all-time top run scorer in both formats, trailing only Sachin Tendulkar in ODIs. In comparison, he is the third highest run scorer in Tests.
The only aspects of his career that ‘Punter’ dislikes are his Ashes defeats and his success in India. He was a disappointment as a captain and a batsman in the subcontinent. In all of his other countries, he has a Test average of over 40, but in India, it is just 26.
After a devastating home series against South Africa in 2012, he decided to retire.
Post international retirement
After retiring from international cricket, Ponting used to play for the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League and the Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash League. He also took up commentary work, like many other former cricketers, and did very well for Channel 9 and Ten Sports.
He was the mentor for the Mumbai Indians in the ninth season of the IPL, alongside Sachin Tendulkar, and later succeeded John Wright as their coach. The Mumbai franchise won their third IPL title under his leadership.